Barbara Bush

First Lady of the United States (1989—1993)

Barbara Pierce Bush (8 June 1925 - 17 April 2018) was the wife of the 41st U.S. president, George H. W. Bush, and mother of the 43rd U.S. president, George W. Bush.

If they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.


  • I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.
    • On her opinion of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro; it has sometimes been reported that she had said "It rhymes with "witch". The New York Times (15 October 1984)
  • The personal things should be left out of platforms at conventions.... You can argue yourself blue in the face, and you’re not going to change each other’s minds. It’s a waste of your time and my time.
    • On the abortion debate, in which her stance was the opposite of her husband's, as quoted in Time magazine (24 August 1992)
  • Avoid this crowd like the plague. And if they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.
    • Advice about news reporters, to incoming first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a tour of the White House, as quoted in Newsweek magazine (30 November 1992)
  • But why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or that or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that, and watch him (her husband, former president George H. W. Bush) suffer?
    • Addressing the question of how much television news she'd recently been watching, in light of the enormous media attention given to likely outcomes in a U.S. war with Iraq. The interview took place two days prior to the start of the Iraq War, Good Morning America (18 March 2003)
  • What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they [the Hurricane Katrina refugees in the Houston Astrodome] all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.

Barbara Bush: A Memoir (1994)Edit

  • For heaven's sake enjoy life. Don't cry over things that were or things that aren't. Enjoy what you have now to the fullest. In all honesty you really only have two choices; you can like what you do OR you can dislike it. I choose to like it and what fun I have had. The other choice is no fun and people do not want to be around a whiner. We can always find people who are worse off and we don't have to look far! Help them and forget self!
    I would certainly say, above all, seek God. He will come to you if you look. There is absolutely NO down side.
    • p. 531

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